A pilot project was set up for the Water Board Scheldestromen in Zeeland, the Netherlands. Problems with shoreline erosion at the project location limited the growth of reed and riparian vegetation. Our goal was to prevent the shoreline erosion with our biodegradable BESE-elements.
In May 2019, a 44-meter BESE-riverbank was created by placing BESE-elements side by side along the riverbank. The riverbank was excavated to create a smooth surface for optimal placement of the BESE-elements. Soil with reed canes was applied to part of the riverbank. The BESE-elements were t hen placed on the excavated riverbank and fastened with rebar. As an additional pilot test, some BESE-elements were filled with woodwool to find out if this would enhance sediment retention.
During the summer and fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020 we monitored vegetation growth and riverbank stability. Already in July 2019, the BESE-riverbank started to turn green and the vegetation kept flourishing during the summer season. The additional test with wood wool did not enhance the sediment retention. Reed growth was most apparent on parts of the riverbank in which reed canes were applied before the placement of BESE-elements. Next to reed, 22 different species of plants were found growing in and on the BESE-riverbank!